Marriage

MARRIAGE

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. The gathering together to celebrate your wedding in a church is unique. It is an opportunity to gather together as a community, to pray together and to pray for you, to listen to the Word of God, to give and to receive rings, and to join our voices together in praising our God. These are profound expressions of faith in our God and of the faith each of you have in one another.

Below is some information of the preparation for weddings. The Saint Henry Cluster requires at least 6 months before your wedding to begin this process. Many couples begin the process earlier than this, sometimes a year or more before the wedding date. An initial meeting at Saint Henry Cluster is required before a date will be scheduled at the church for your wedding.

Engaged Couples Retreat

Fully Engaged & FOCCUS

Frequently Asked Questions

Music Planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engaged Couples Retreat
Engaged couples attend a day-long workshop with other engaged couples where married couples and others present on practical aspects of preparing for marriage.

 

Fully Engaged & FOCCUS
After your initial meeting, you will complete an inventory of about 100 questions about your relationship as a couple and your personality. Your responses will provide a list of areas you and your fiancé agree or disagree on a range of topics. You will be matched with a married couple to discuss these areas within your relationship, where you would like to grow further in your relationship, and to explore practical aspects of married life as a couple.

 

Frequently Asked Questions
Q I heard that my dad can’t walk me down the aisle for my wedding now. Is this true?
A If you would like to have your dad walk you down the aisle, this is still allowed in the Saint Henry Cluster. The Rite of the Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony was recently translated with a few changes. The major change for the celebration of weddings is the wording of the prayers throughout the service or mass. The official prayers for weddings in the church suggests a number of options for how to begin a wedding. In some parishes or dioceses in the United States, a pastor or bishop has chosen one entrance with the priest, bride and groom, bridal party, and parents processing from the back of the church to the front, nearly identical to the procession in a Sunday mass. Here in the Saint Henry Cluster, this procession is one option. Another option is for the bride to be escorted by her father or someone else and meet the groom at the front of the church.

Q How much does it cost to get married in the Cluster?
A The Saint Henry Cluster requests a donation of $150 for couples in the parish. For those from outside one of our parishes, the requested donation is $500. This fee is for the use of the church and the marriage preparation process in the Cluster. It covers all meetings and preparation for the couple in the Cluster. It does not include the Engaged Couples Retreat fee, musicians, or other donations you would like to make to individuals involved in your wedding. If the suggested donation is a hardship, please inform the minister you meet with at your first wedding meeting at the Cluster.

Q I heard weddings are only scheduled once a month. Why aren’t wedding dates offered more?
A In the Saint Henry Cluster, weddings may be scheduled on most Saturdays throughout the year. Some Saturdays are unavailable due to church celebrations (Easter Vigil) or for civic celebrations (Saint Henry picnic). There is not a restriction of one wedding per month. However, dates do become unavailable due to other weddings or liturgies (ordination or First Communion).

Q What documents or paperwork do I have to fill out?
A There are a few documents completed throughout the marriage preparation process, including 2 inventories (FOCCUS and Meyers-Briggs), the M1 form (22 questions), a wedding liturgy planning form, and a wedding music planning form. At your initial meeting, a minister will walk you through all of this paperwork and when it needs to be submitted. Your wedding license from the county clerk’s office is required to be submitted to the Cluster offices 2 weeks before your wedding date. Following your wedding, the Cluster will mail this form into the state offices to complete your marriage license.

Q Is there a list of approved photographers and videographers Saint Henry Cluster allows?
A At this time there are no restrictions on which photographer or videographer you choose for your wedding. Photographers or videographers who have shot many weddings in the Saint Henry Cluster may be easier to work with due to their experience and knowledge of the spaces of the churches in the cluster.

Q I have a relative or friend who is a priest or a deacon. Can he do my wedding?
A In the Saint Henry Cluster, you are welcome to have a relative or friend who is a priest or deacon (or even a bishop) preside at your wedding. The preparation for couples in the Saint Henry Cluster is the same process (initial meeting with a minister, Engaged Couples Retreat, FOCCUS couple, etc.).

Q I live far away from St. Henry and can’t drive back all the time for marriage preparation. What do I do?
A Please discuss any issues, such as travel requirements, at your initial meeting with a minister in the cluster. Some couples in the past have completed parts of their marriage preparation elsewhere due to distance. For example, a couple living in Seattle, WA completed their FOCCUS couple work in Seattle, WA. However, any exception to the marriage preparation process must be approved by the Saint Henry Cluster.

 

Music Planning
The music for a wedding plays a critical role in the prayer and gestures of the wedding liturgy. The prayers and gestures throughout the wedding liturgy emphasize the uniting of your lives together, the love you share as a couple, and the support and prayers of your family and friends gathered with you. Ultimately, the wedding liturgy directs all gathered to give praise to our Lord Jesus and our loving God. The music must support this and should not detract from the setting of faith or distract people from prayer.

Like the rites and symbols and words of the wedding liturgy, music can express your hopes, feelings, and understandings as a couple. Music allows for the gathered Christian community to more fully celebrate your union as a couple. The music selected for your wedding should reflect the dignity and reverence of the occasion, namely a celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It must work hand-in-hand with the liturgy to express the Christian nature of faith, hope, and love in the context of the sacrament.

The general guidelines for selecting music are as follows:
(1) The music selection speaks of the covenantal love between husband and wife.
(2) The music selection is a song of blessing by God on the marriage.
(3) The music selection speaks of the vocation of marriage as a life of Christian service to each other and all the church.
(4) The music selection is appropriate to the part of the liturgy, e.g., Eucharist hymn.

Appropriate wedding music excludes:
(1) Any music that is purely secular in nature, and as such, neglects the sacred union of the couple.
(2) Popular musical favorites which merely recall sentimental, personal associations; such music should be reserved for the wedding reception.
(3) Songs that do not have an obvious relation to prayer.

In the case of music being requested that is not on our list, the final decision as to the appropriateness of the piece of music will belong to the liturgy director in agreement with the pastor of the respective parish within the Saint Henry Cluster.

These music policies are effective for all celebrations of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, both weddings with mass and weddings outside of mass.

Below are some suggested and frequently chosen songs for weddings.

Prelude
A Choral Benediction (Besig)
And On This Day (English)
Ave Maria (Schubert, Bach, other)
Covenant Hymn (Cooney)
Household of Faith (Rosasco)
How Beautiful (Paris)
One In Love (Macek)
One Love, One Lifetime (Dana)
Sanctuary (Ambrosetti)
Together (Strader)
Faith, Hope & Love (Haas)
Faith, Hope & Love (O’Brien)
Love Never Fails You (Heath)
Love So Strong (Mattingly)
The Prayer (Sager & Foster)
This Is (Lawton)

Seating of Parents
Always Be a Child (Boltz)
Father, We Come Today (Landry)
Parents’ Prayer (many)
May God Bless You (Grieken)
Walk with Them Lord (Price)

Bridesmaids
Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)

Bride
The Brides March
Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
Prelude to the Te Deum (Charpentier)
Rondeau in D (Mouret)
Trumpet Tune (Purcell)

Unity Candle
By My Side (Porter)
Faith, Hope & Love (Haas)
Where There Is Love (Haas)
Wherever You Go (Haas)

Preparation of the Gifts
Set Your Heart on the Higher Gifts (Warner)
The Gift of Love (Hopson)
God In the Planning (Bell)
The Greatest Gift (Marchionda)
When Love Is Found (Wren)

Communion
Bread of Heaven (Demny)
God’s Holy Mystery (Tate)
I Am the Bread of Life (Toolan)
I Received the Living God (anonymous)
Let Us Be Bread (Porter)
Make of Our Hands a Throne (Warner)
One Bread, One Body (Foley)
Song of the Body of Christ (Haas)
Table Song (Haas)
Taste & See (Moore)
Wisdom’s Feast (Brubaker)
You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (Westerndorf)

Holy Family
Hear Us Now, Our God and Father (Prichard)
May God Bless You (Grieken)
Walk with Them Lord (Price)
A Blessing (Marchionda)
Father Eternal, We Pray for Your Blessing (Harding)

Recessional
Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
Allegro Maestoso (Handel)
Rondeau in D (Mouret)
Trumpet Tune (Purcell)

Many of the songs are appropriate for more than one part of the liturgy, for example “Faith, Hope & Love” (Haas) could be used for Unity Candle, Prelude, Seating of Parents, or another part of the liturgy.